PAC SUN SPECIAL REPORT: JULY 28, 2011
Mitchell J. Fisher, CFP, President
Will the national debt ceiling be lifted up…or will the sky fall down on our financial world? If you haven’t heard the noise about this latest crisis in Washington, then you probably need a new hearing aid or you’ve been listening to more pleasant tunes in another world. As financial markets stumble and we come around the final turn, headed toward the finish line of the great debt debate, I want to briefly address the many calls and concerns about how this political poker game might affect you and your money.
Think of this $1.4 Trillion dollar debt ceiling for a moment as the limit on your credit card. You lay your plastic down to make a purchase and it’s handed back to you with a polite, “Sorry, your charge has been denied.” Oops. Time to reach for your cash, take out another card, or put the item back. Our country is now on the edge of having our credit card denied. Will this create a monetary disaster? In my opinion, probably not…but it sure could damage our national confidence, our world standing, and shake things up in the markets.
The positioning and posturing of the politicians and special interest groups in our nation’s capital is divisive and disruptive. Both sides of the aisle are competing heavily for this photo-op and money grab for constituents. There are some huge issues at stake: cutting programs, raising taxes, Medicare, Social Security, education, and a balanced budget. It seems that nothing is off limits in this war of words. I’m not sure anyone in Washington can accurately predict the consequences of the decision coming to a head on August 2nd.
So, do you get out before the fall or do you look at this as a buying opportunity? To answer that, consider these two disaster nicknames: Y2K and Carmeggedon. As the end of the 20th century approached, we began to hear about a global disruption of epic proportions. Our computer-driven world would be unable to digest the transition from 1999 to 2000. Too many zeroes. Planes would fall down because guidance systems would malfunction. Stock markets would crash with transactions in chaos. We would have no electricity or heat as computerized utility grids failed. So what happened? Nothing, nada, bubkis, zip. Our world didn’t turn upside down and Y2K faded like the Edsel. In a rare display of successful political cooperation and media coordination, calamity was completely averted in the Los Angeles 405 freeway shutdown aka Carmeggedon.
My suggestion is to try and relax and filter out the noise. If you are in good investments for the long-run, stay put, and buy more if the markets offer quality discounts. The great author, Samuel Johnson put it this way:
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